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Apr 20th
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It's All Connected, Redux

It's All Connected, Redux

A common question asked of scientists is how the oil spill will affect life in the Gulf.
My sense is that it will effect directly or indirectly, severely or slightly every single form of life in the Gulf, for many years to come.  The air, the water, the sand, the mud, the microbes, the plankton, the marshgrass, the mangroves, the jellyfish, the oysters, the shrimp, the shorebirds, the turtles, the sharks, the redfish, the children, the fishermen, the chefs, the taxi drivers, the artists, the oil industry workers, the politicians. Every single bit and blob of life will be impacted.  Save a few oil-eating microbes, no life will change for the better.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Poodle Hoarder Sentenced

A City of Watsonville resident who was discovered to be keeping numerous miniature poodles in unsanitary and negligent conditions in 2009 was recently sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to do 100 hours of volunteer service hours. According to a July 28 Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority press release, the offender, 42-year-old Mary Frances Laney, was additionally “ordered not to possess, acquire, and/or care for any additional dogs and she's subject to search and seizure by law enforcement for indicia of dog ownership. She was also ordered to pay $6,467.18 in restitution to the Animal Services Authority.” The best news? All of the rescued poodles have since been adopted into new, loving homes.
Blogs - The Ticker

Fairgrounds Cancels Rodeo

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Board of Directors has pulled the plug on plans for a rodeo in October, reversing the approval they originally gave to the rodeo’s organizers, Deputy Sheriff’s Association nonprofit Stars of Justice, at their June meeting. Stars of Justice had been planning the rodeo, which would be the first in the county in many years, as a fundraiser for local children. Although the Board’s decision was not based on the many pleas from animal rights activists, the protestors are still pleased with the outcome. “We are really supportive of the Stars of Justice wanting to raise money to help children,” says JP Novic, founder of the Center for Animal Protection and Education. “But we felt like the rodeo is the wrong venue because it’s inherently cruel. I hope that the Stars of Justice will look at other options for their fundraising event. There are so many wonderful, wholesome, non-cruel things they could do to raise money that don’t involve hurting animals.”

Blogs - The Ticker

GT’s CAP Survey Results Are In

In June, Good Times brought readers the full story behind the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project and offered everyone the opportunity to help the CAP determine their next set of community goals. Our first-ever online CAP survey garnered 321 responses, with the following goals receiving the most votes: The Santa Cruz County economy will create more living-wage jobs and keep more residents in local jobs; all children will have healthcare coverage; all high school graduates will be prepared to enter living-wage careers or higher education; more youth will be involved in prevention and positive social activities and fewer youth will enter the juvenile delinquency system; health of rivers and ocean is improved by reducing erosion, chemical and biological pollution, and improving riparian corridors; more Santa Cruz County residents will have access to housing, both rental and home ownership, that they can afford. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Blogs - The Ticker

Farmland Forever

Nearly 1,000 acres of prime Pajaro Valley farmland are to be forever used for agriculture, thanks to conservation easement agreements with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. The protection was formally announced at a July 10 dedication ceremony, and will ensure the Borina Lands, as well as a few other private South Santa Cruz County agricultural properties, will continue to be rich farmland for the county. A Land Trust press release also said, “Their protected status serves as a buffer against urban development east of Watsonville.”
Blogs - The Ticker

UCSC Cuts Rape Prevention Education

After 30 years of serving UCSC sexual assault victims, the program for Rape Prevention Education has been disbanded due to budget cuts. The news that Rape Prevention Education Coordinator Gillian Greensite would have a different job next year, educating about STIs, pregnancy and alcohol—all of which she has no experience teaching—came on Thursday, June 3, during a meeting with UCSC administrators. Since the program’s dissolution, Greensite has retired and a Facebook Coalition to Save UCSC Rape Prevention Education has formed in protest with 1,185 members as of press time. Nina Milliken, the group’s leader, posted the following statement to the coalition’s Facebook page: “UCSC’s Rape Prevention Education Center is a vitally important resource for the hundreds of women (and men) at UCSC who have experienced a (or many) sexual assault(s). Rape survivors, partners of rape survivors, friends of rape survivors, and family members of rape survivors will have no where to turn for good advice. We need to fight this!”

Blogs - The Ticker

Bringing Antarctica to You

Bringing Antarctica to You

Waking up on a recent morning in Santa Cruz that was so foggy the streets had puddles, I thought about what to pack for my upcoming expedition to the driest, windiest, coldest, and most extreme continent in the world, Antarctica. What will I need? How will I survive? What’s it going to be like? Soon I’ll find out and so will you. And we’ll learn so much more. We’ll have the opportunity to observe research under the ice of Antarctica as it’s being done and to follow along as scientists try to measure and understand changes in seafloor communities. We’ll watch them SCUBA dive and use underwater robots to take pictures and videos, collect specimens, and get data. We’ll learn about the logistics of getting to remote spots on the most remote continent in the world. We’ll get the inside scoop of what it actually means to do research and what scientists are doing to understand climate change, ecology, and extreme environments.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Gulf Report

Gulf Report

On the night of the Fourth of July, I flew into New Orleans.  I watched from above as fireworks sailed from below into the sky to celebrate Independence Day. The young man from a small Louisiana coastal town sitting next to me said "I've never seen fireworks from above." "Me neither."

"I've never been on a plane before this either," he added.
A few hours later I was back in the sky, this time flying above a different kind of fireworks. The kind that mourn our dependence. Our small Cessna traced the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, documenting the flow of oil and tar balls onto islands, wetlands, mangroves, beaches and the inadequacy of the bright yellow and orange booms floating here and there and more often than not, beachcast and twisted by the wind and waves.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Healthcare for Dummies

Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched on July 1 to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, more than 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” says Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.” ÿ

Blogs - The Ticker

Healthcare for Dummies

Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, Healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched today to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, over 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” said Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.”

 
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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?